The Voice Series Premiere – review
The Voice is a unique singing show. Instead of having thousands of people all over the nation come to a large venue for cattle call audtions, this show cherry-picks the best singers and presents them to the judges in a unique way. Each singer comes to the stage and sings a popular song for the coaches who are sitting in chairs with their backs to the stage performers. If they like what they hear, they press a button and the chair turns to face the singer. This signifies that the coach wants to take the singer under their wing and work as a mentor. If more than one performer turns their chair, then the singer selects who he or she wants to work with. This show is not about marketibility so much as making the dreams of aspiring pop stars come true. I think the blind auditions are a smart move so the vocal performances remain the focus. The best part of this show is that four of the most current pop stars will help shape and guide future talent.
Everyone is familiar with the four talent coaches: pop-diva Christina Aguilera, Maroon 5′s frontman Adam Levine, hip-hop singer/songwriter Cee Lo Green, and country crooner Blake Shelton. They have already made a name for themselves in the music industry, and they are current artists who are familiar with today’s music but who have also have been around long enough to understand the ebb and flow of the music industry. The Voice is really all about the voice. Unlike other talent shows, the producers pre-select the best singers and give them a chance to impress the judges with their talent alone. Appearance and age doesn’t matter like it might on other talent shows.
The plan for this season is that each judge is allowed to select 8 contestants to take under their wing and train. Then they will give two singers the same song to sing and have them compete for the final rounds. From there, each coach is allowed to select four of the best singers out of the eight, and then they compete for our votes. The coaches will also become judges. I know that a lot of people are thinking that The Voice is basically a rip-off of American Idol or America’s Got Talent, but I have a feeling that this show is going to bring back what talent shows have long forgotten.
Now let’s take a look at each coach and their teams.
Cee Lo Green has done it all. He’s been in two hip-hop bands(Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley), launched a career as a solo artist, and produced songs for other artists. He’s primarily a rap artist, but he also has worked with pop bands like The Pussycat Dolls in the past. This episode, Cee Lo was game to take many different artists under his wing, and his current roster includes Tje Austin, Vicci Martinez, and Kelsey Ray.
Adam Levine is the lead singer/songwriter for rock band Maroon 5. He got his start in the industry back in high school when he formed the band Kara’s Flowers. The band eventually parted ways due to a lack of success. Levine went to college with former bandmember Jesse Carmichael in New York, where they were inspired by a new music scene that was heavily inspired by modern rhythm and blues. A few years later they reformed with the most of their former Kara’s Flowers band members and dubbed themeselves Maroon 5. They have collaborated with several other artists, including Kanye West and Alicia Keys. Levine’s training group includes Rebecca Loeb, Javier Colon, and Jeff Jenkins.
Christina Aguilera is a pop diva who has made a name for herself as the girl with a voice. Even though she technically got her start as a child on the Mickey Mouse Club 20 years ago with the likes of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, her vocal ability makes her more comparable to Mariah Carey. Her talent alone has garned many awards, including four Grammys. She also writes her own music. Her training group includes Beverly McClellan, Tarralyn Ramsey, and Frenchie Davis.
Blake Shelton is a popular country artist who got a rocky start in the industry upon signing with Giant Records in the late 90s. His first single “Austin” came out around the same time his record company was obtained by Warner Brothers Records. His self-titled debut went gold. He has since released four more albums and won four music awards. His training group includes Patrick Thomas, Xenia, and Elenowen, which is actually married duo.
If you missed this first episode, you can go to NBC.com and watch the full episode online. The Voice airs Tuesday nights at 8:00/7:00 p.m. Central time.